January 13th, 2009

Mars on a Shoestring (A thought paper by Eric Knight) Remarkable Technologies

On the return flight from a meeting at NASA headquarters a couple of years ago, my mind was reflecting upon the Space Shuttle program…its milestones…its tragedies…and its soon-to-be fleet retirement. (As of this writing, the Space Shuttle fleet is slated for retirement by September 30, 2010.)
While gazing out over the clouds through the airplane window, a number of thoughts swirled in my head:
Instead of retiring the Space Shuttle, and simply moth-balling the orbiters at museums and “rocket parks” around the country, could we give the fleet a heroic assignment? A grand mission commensurate with their thirty years of service? Something that would be truly historic — even through the lens of time a millennium from now?

July 12th, 2001

Rehearsing for Mars Inc.

No one will be there to watch, of course, when the latest Mars-bound spacecraft settles into orbit above the Red Planet sometime later this year. But while the Odyssey slips toward Mars, more than 30 scientists and engineers are rehearsing in the Canadian high arctic for a human mission that may be a few short decades away. And they